White Oak Adirondack Chairs

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Project by Seankub posted 04-19-2014 09:05 PM 7268 views 7 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My current project was to build four Adirondack chairs. Completed the first one last weekend and use as a guide for the other three. These are constructed out of white oak with stainless steel hardware. I got 80 board feet (used 70 bf) of 4/4 lumber and milled to final dimension. I created templates for the parts to ease the production process. Completed the other three this weekend. I was going to just leave as is, no finish. From my research and the reason for selecting white oak, I should not have to do anything, just let them age as is. Let me know you thoughts and experiences with leaving white oak unfinished in the elements.

-- Sean, Ohio City - Cleveland,

5 comments so far

View ksubenny's profile


74 posts in 2711 days

#1 posted 04-20-2014 01:40 AM

Looks good! I’ve got the plans for the folding adirondack chairs on the coffee table in front of me, going to do them in either sapele mahogany or white oak.

View Xtreme90's profile


193 posts in 4045 days

#2 posted 04-20-2014 09:52 AM

These are gorgeous sean! It must be in the air or something because I’m in the process of building 12 of these for a client out of white oak also. Mine are a lil different design. The white oak is extremely weather resistant. However for me a couple coats of outdoor varathane and it will last even longer. Have you been working this from rough cut? Pretty aggressive stuff on your hands huh!? Lol

-- "I don't cut wood. I machine it!" G.M. The wood machinest

View squaretree's profile


160 posts in 2425 days

#3 posted 04-20-2014 11:40 AM

Those really turned out nice. My list just got longer :-)

-- if you can't find me, just follow the extension cord

View BillG's profile


82 posts in 4403 days

#4 posted 04-20-2014 03:01 PM


The chairs came out great. I used the same design for the ones i built several years ago. Instead of white oak, I used cypress. It is much lighter and weathers very well. I know that white oak , locust, mahogany, cypress and cedar as well as other tropical wood weather well. All will eventually fail due to the sun and weather.

I believe that an absorbed preservative is better than a film finish such as spar varnish. Spar is designed to take the weather, but because it is a film finish, rather than absorbed, in time it will flake and peel. An absorbed preservative still allows the wood to expand and contract without fracturing the finish and letting water get under the finish.

The chairs that I built have now stood for 5 years outside at my camp in Maine. They are doing very well and now slightly grey. I may brush on another coat of Thompsons clear preservative this summer.

Enjoy the chairs. They are really comfortable. Here is a link to ones that I built:

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

View PDuff's profile


5 posts in 2671 days

#5 posted 04-22-2014 05:08 AM

For preserving the wood, check out Penofin. I got a gallon of the hardwood oil that I’ve had good luck with on a set of Ipe and purple heart patio tables I built my mom. The big upside for the penofin for my use was its ability to deal with oily woods (Ipe) and the ease of maintenance. Instead of sanding off the old, you just wash the surface with slightly soapy water and hose then rinse, dry and rub on another coat every couple of years. The UV inhibitor has worked well on the purple heart so far but it’s only been exposed since the fall.

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